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Friday, May 21, 2004

manchesteronline.co.uk: Spaceman set to lose $10m race
chabot imageROCKETMAN Steve Bennett looks set to lose his race to win the $10m X-Prize.
For the last seven years, the Hyde scientist has been a front-runner in the international contest to launch the first privately-funded manned mission into space.
But a rival American enthusiast is poised to streak past his Starchaser project and snatch away the prize with a mission planned for next month.
Millionaire Burt Rutan has already sent his SpaceShipOne craft to a height of 64km and he plans to reach for the 100km target within weeks.
Mr Bennett today conceded that his Starchaser team is now likely to be beaten to the $10m prize, saying he was simply unable to compete with his better-funded rival.He said: "Obviously, this is disappointing because everyone at Starchaser has been working hard on this for seven years. Burt Rutan is ahead of the competition, but we are waiting to see just how far ahead he is. I think we are running in second place. We are 60 per cent there he is 90 per cent."
"Everyone here is quite frustrated because we are moving ahead quite slowly. But if we had the money we could go out and we could win this." Read More


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